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2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 27

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to write something that makes you laugh.

Today’s prompt is to write about something that makes you laugh.

Flash Fiction Challenge

Remember: These prompts are just starting points; you have the freedom to go wherever your flash of inspiration takes you.

(Note: If you happen to run into any issues posting, please just send me an e-mail at mrichard@aimmedia.com with the subject line: Flash Fiction Challenge Commenting Issue.)

Here’s my attempt at comedy:

Prayer

He was in the middle of his evening prayer when the angel came.

Gordy had always imagined what his first interaction with the Celestial would be, but he hadn’t imagined his slack-jawed response, staring dumbly with his hands folded neatly on his dark blue bedspread.

The angel was also not what he expected, an average man neatly pressed into a charcoal suit and purple tie. His dark hair was shellacked to his head, his mouth a flat, unimpressed line. He was wholly forgettable. Gordy was disappointed. He’d expected more white, more wings, just more.

The angel rocked back on his heels and cleared his throat, as one does before calling a meeting to order.

“Gordy Joseph Jepsen,” the angel said.

“Yes,” Gordy said, breathless, knees glued to the floor.

“Do you know who I am?”

“The heaven-sent,” Gordy whispered. The words were honey on his tongue. “The mouthpiece of God.”

“Hm. Not God-sent, no, but still here on Their behalf.”

Gordy unfolded his hands, pressing his palms flat. “I do not understand, O Holy Messenger.”

“I am here because you have submitted 1,500 prayers in the last three months,” the angel said. “This is an unusual number for this geographical area.”

“I am overjoyed you have heard my prayers!” Gordy wailed. “I have not missed a Sunday service since I was a boy; this is all I’ve dreamed of.”

The angel’s mouth pinched to the side. “Gordy, I am not here to answer your prayers.”

“You aren’t?”

“No. I’m here to request that you stop praying.”

Gordy stared. “But…I have been devoted.”

“We appreciate your efforts but are not interested in your type of devotion at this time.”

“Not interested!?” Gordy was on his feet before he even knew he was moving. “What do you mean?”

“There are big things happening in the world, Gordy. There are people calling out to God in agony and fear, people who are being persecuted for their beliefs or for who they love, people who are being tortured and suppressed by their governments. There are fires wiping out entire ecosystems, the ice caps are melting, the animals are dying.” The angel clasped his hands behind his back. “Your requests to win the lottery are cluttering up our system.”

“But I could help with that!” Gordy dropped his shoulders, his eyes wide and earnest. “If I had that money, I could do great things for my community, for the world, even!”

The angel lifted his eyebrows. He unclasped his hand and a sheet of paper materialized between his fingers. “According to our data, you have been living beyond your means for quite a few years now. Based on your behavior pattern and the contents of your heart, our analysts have agreed that you would only serve yourself.”

“The contents of my heart? You don’t know me! All you do is sit up on a big fluffy cloud and look down and judge me!” Gordy started to pace, his face turning an alarming shade of red.

“That is our job, yes, though the fluffy cloud is not accurate.”

Gordy threw his hands up. “If you won’t give me the money, what would you have me do?”

“Maybe skip the next few poker games with your college buddies and pay off some of that credit card debt instead. Stop eating out so much. Hire an accountant to help invest some of your money.”

“You want me to suffer!” Gordy started to weep, the tears thick and embarrassing as they dribbled off his chin.

The angel sighed. “I’m going to tell you a secret, Gordy. You are one of the lucky ones; you need not suffer. If you put even a fraction of the energy into solving your problems as you do trying to pray them away, your life would be better for it. You have the strength in you to do great things, and you, unlike many others, have the means and power to make these changes for yourself. You simply have to dedicate yourself to accomplishing them.”

Gordy sniffed and wiped his nose on the cuff of his $200 shirt. Only the awkward sound of Gordy’s heavy breathing could be heard.

“Well. Thank you for your time,” the angel said. “God bless.”

Then he was gone. Gordy scrubbed his hands across his face and took a few deep, calming breaths. He thought about what the angel had said about his potential. He imagined doing those things. He imagined what his life could be.

After another moment, Gordy lowered himself back to the floor beside his bed. He laced his fingers together; his head bowed humbly.

“Dear Satan,” he began. “I would like it very much if you would help me win the lottery…”

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